Date: Tue, 30 Jan 1996 15:19:33 EST

From: "Richard A. Spears" 72103.2357[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]COMPUSERVE.COM

Subject: Re: why are ships referr

Seems to me there's something more to this than being "wedded to the sea."

My sense is that favorite male possessions of many kinds are referred to as

"she," including favorite automobiles (not just hot rods or sports cars),

trucks, rifles, shotguns, boats, motorcycles, tractors, fly rods, big game

trolling reels, etc., especially when human qualities are attributed to them

(faithfulness, power, dependability, contrariness, etc.). It might be

interesting to see just how extensive the range really is. The list I've given

here is well attested in my own experience, but no doubt there are other

objects that are associated with female pronouns and even given female names

(until recently, that included tropical storms and hurricanes, but now there

is gender balance in naming storms, at least in the National Weather

Service). In contrast, I suspect that very few possessions are referred to

with 'he' (it's always 'Old Betsy,' never 'Old Bob' or 'Old Fred').

To this list should be added:

"Put 'er there." = Let's shake hands / Entend your hand to shake my extended